Saturday, 31 December 2011

Show Don't Tell

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2


Apparently our childhoods all ended with the release of the final Harry Potter movie this summer. Boy am I glad that Harry Potter didn’t define my childhood then, because I don’t plan on ever letting go of it. Sure, I like Harry Potter just fine, and the last movie did make my top 5 movies of 2011, but I got really sick of hearing people obsess about it. It’s just a fucking movie. If that’s all you have to remember your childhood by, then I feel really sorry for you. But anyways, the movie was pretty good, though it could have done without being 3D. It wasn’t filmed in 3D, just converted, so the effect isn’t quite the same, and honestly it would have been just fine in regular old 2D like the rest of the films. Best quote: Minerva McGonagall “I’ve always wanted to use that spell!”


I’ve always loved the whole Fast and Furious franchise, but the latest installment is definitely my favourite so far. I went with Aina and Beth and Adin on opening night in Kamloops, and it was well worth it! The stunts are ridiculous, the action sequences are flawless, and the heist was amazing. All of the best characters from the previous films are brought back, so the film is like one big reunion of ridiculous proportions. Ludacris is missing his ‘fro (damn) we don’t really get to see any classic drifting from Han, Paul Walker aka Brian O’Connor wears his shirt far too much, but we get to see Dwayne Johnson at his most badass. The facial hair is kind of laughable, but damn his character is awesome otherwise. As per usual, every time I watch this type of film I want to go drag race, but then I remember I have no car, and I don’t want to go to jail… Best quote: Roman Pearce “This shit just went from mission: impossible to mission: in-freaking-sanity!”


Ethan Hunt is about to face his biggest challenge yet. The IMF has been disbanded, he’s stuck with a crew of green agents with barely any equipment, and the world is on the brink of nuclear warfare. I was SO HAPPY when I heard they were doing a fourth movie in the Mission Impossible series! The last one was brilliant, and left the story in a really good place, but I like a good spy-thriller, and Ethan Hunt is one of my favourite spy guys (Bond will always be first obviously), so it was nice to hear that Tom Cruise had signed on to do another film before he gets too old. I don’t know what they’re going to do when he gets actually old, because he is so intrinsically Ethan Hunt. Hopefully, when ever they decide to replace him, he stays on as one of the producers and makes sure they don’t destroy the role because that would be super depressing. Best quote: Ethan Hunt “Mission accomplished!”


Not all of my favourite films were action-thrillers this year, which is why I chose The Inbetweeners film to provide a little comedy to the list. It’s the conclusion of the 3 season British television series of the same name, as the four boys who spent high school together go on vacation in Crete to celebrate their freedom after graduation. The film is full of hilarious and ridiculous moments that could only happen to these poor guys, who can never seem to get it quite right. All they want to do in Crete is party, drink, and get laid, but their antics and ridiculous behavior complicate things slightly… If you want some laughs, this is definitely a movie you should check out because it’s nothing less than ridiculous. Though I should warn you, the guys are kind of a bunch of twats with filthy language and a penchant for being inadequately clothed… Best quote: Will McKenzie (as narrator) “So smelling like an industrial accident in a Lynx factory and looking like the world's shittest boyband, we hit the town.”


I can’t gush enough about how amazing this movie is so I’m just going to give you a list of amazing things about it. 1: Bradley Cooper. 2: Bradley Cooper shirtless. 3: Bradley Cooper in a suit. 4: Amazing cinematography. 5: Complete mind fuck plot. 6: Based on a great novel. 7: Did I mention Bradley Cooper shirtless? Best quote: Eddie Morra “I don't have delusions of grandeur, I have an actual recipe for grandeur.”

Sidenote: the images are all from IMDB, as are the header links. 

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Nothing but the Beats


AKA the only music I paid actual money for this year…


I’ve been in love with David Guetta’s music ever since I heard "Walking Away vs. Love Don’t Let me Go," and saw the respective music video (genius!), and ever since he’s just been producing more and more brilliant music. Nothing but the Beat is by far my favourite album of the year (sorry to the rest of the albums!), since I can’t get the tracks out of my head, and they’re all masterful. Every song just makes me want to jump around like crazy dancing, and sing along, and move to Europe and become a clubgirl. Not gonna happen obviously, but I’m never going to stop loving this album. Bringing in a variety of different vocalists who all fit their respective songs perfectly makes the album so successful in my mind, because straight up beats aren’t really enough. Seriously go listen to “Without You” (the track with Usher), “Sweat” (with Snoop Dogg!!!), and “Repeat” (with Jessie J) and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Just go listen to the whole album because each track is a gem!


Just enough dance, and just enough chill. This album is the perfect mix between his classic trance albums that I adore (Nyana and In Search of Sunrise: Ibiza) and his dance pop club albums that I can’t help but dance along to (Kaleidoscope). My favourite tracks are “Blessed” and "Heiress of Valentina” for vocal tracks (yes Tiësto had nothing to do with the vocals, but he chose some damn good songs to mix),  and “C’Mon” for my favourite straight up electronica track. Though the whole album is great. I like to listen to it when I’m doing yoga or drawing stuff, because it’s chill, but upbeat at the same time.


Besides from the obvious reasons to adore Adam Levine (uhm GORGEOUS and funny) he’s also ridiculously musically talented, as is his band. I’ve been waiting for years for Maroon 5 to release another album after It Won’t be Soon Before Long, and damn the wait was worth it! “Misery” is a beautiful track, but I fell in love with the album when I heard “Stutter,” “Give a Little More,” and “Runaway.” The rest of the tracks are beautiful as well of course, some being so because of their pop-y dance vibes, some for the guitar-riff melodies, some for their carefully worded poetry. And of course let’s not forget “Moves Like Jagger.” I can listen to it over and over and over again, and still want to hear it again. Plus the music video is visually amazing (if you’re into that whole Mick Jagger, gorgeous guy, British vibe thing – which obviously I am). If you’re smart you’ll pick up the Deluxe version of the album because it has a few extra tracks on it that are gorgeous, including a wonderful acoustic version of “Misery.”


Go listen to “You Make me Feel…” and you’ll understand why this album made my top 5. I’m only learning to love the rest of the tracks, but these guys are definitely growing on me now that they’re no longer employing Gossip Girls as their guest vocalists. Haha just kidding, I actually quite liked “Good Girls Go Bad.”


It wouldn’t be right for me to have a top 5 music list without including an artist from the UK, since I’m often called an Anglophile for going on and on about random UK stuff. Example is the newest addition to my list of loved English bands, and his newest album Playing in the Shadows was a shoe-in for my top 5. He earned his chops as a rapper, but has since moved onto electronica and pop rock influenced stylings, so this album is a motley collection of contradictory sounds all brought together in a brilliant way. I love “Changed the Way you Kissed Me” and “Midnight Run” as the two prevalent singles from the album so far, but “Lying to Yourself” and “Natural Disaster” (featuring Laidback Luke) are really close to my heart for their carefully constructed lyrics. “Wrong in the Head” is also really cute because it’s such a strange blend of electronica music and rap vocals. Needless to say, Example has some mad skills!

Just a little FYI: the header links are to the artists’ websites, the title links are to music videos, and the pictures are all from Amazon. 

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Book Addict


This year I seriously read a lot of books. It’s actually kind of ridiculous looking back at my book journal… I’m not sure how I managed to work fulltime, move my entire life twice, and survive the (apparently) hardest semester of grad school with decent grades, and read the mounds and mounds of books that I did. The majority of them were really good, but as a year end wrap up I am going to give you my top five books of the year (and later in the week I’ll cover movies and music)! There’s a little bit of everything, so if you don’t like a single one of these books then there’s something wrong with you…


So, I already blogged about this book when I first read it over the summer, but I am going to plug it again. It’s that good. I’m not going to waste space fan-girling over it because I already embarrassed myself sufficiently the first time, so just go read my post on it again. And then go read the book!



When I was younger I read The Hobbit and was really not impressed with it, so when I decided to finally tackle reading the LotR trilogy last winter I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed them. Enjoyed so much that I ignored my goal of reading one a year (at Christmas time), and read The Two Towers during February and finished The Return of the King in the summer. Of all three movies I had always liked The Two Towers the least, but it was actually much better as a book than the third volume (which I had liked better as a film). Not enough actually happens in the final book, and one final battle takes forever to get over with. The Two Towers tells so many storylines, since all of the characters are separated on different journeys, so there’s too much going on for the reader to get bored. Plus we get to meet Treebeard! I love Treebeard and the other magical trees!


You’ve all read Maurice Sendak’s classic picture book Where the Wild Things Are, and seen the Spike Jonze movie of the same title, right? You haven’t? Goddamnit, do I have a lot of work to do with you lot… First of all, go read/watch those, then go pick up The Wild Things, because it’s the keystone volume in the trilogy of masterpieces that brings the other two together perfectly. The novel gets right into Max’s head, and we discover exactly why he’s such a wild thing, and what he really feels about his role as the king of the wild things. It’s exciting, illuminating, and at times frightening as the reader sees straight into the mind of a very troubled child who isn’t sure how to connect with the rest of the world, but who desperately wants to. By the way, I scooped a hardcover copy (which is the ideal edition) from Chapters for $7.99 in the clearance section. Totally worth every penny!


Obviously I had to include one of Neil’s books because he’s Neil, and he deserves it. I debated, and debated, and debated, and debated, but finally decided to have Odd and the Frost Giants as my pick, because it’s magical in both written and audiobook format. Seriously it was a hard decision, since I read about 10 of Neil’s books this year. Too much awesomeness to be contained. Okay, off track for a second there, but must get back on track. Odd is a crippled viking boy, who goes on a magical journey to Asgard with some of the Norse pantheon (conveniently in animal form) in an attempt to defeat the frost giant who has captured Asgard, and who is making winter last forever. I’m not going to tell you if Odd and his companions are victorious or not, but Odd’s life won’t be the same when he returns home. If you are in the mood for an audiobook, this one is extra-delightful because Neil narrates it, and he does an amazing job. When I was listening to it I thought to myself “OMG this is how Neil’s children must have experienced story time – what a delightful accent – pay attention brain, words, not delightful accent sounds.”


My top 5 list wouldn’t be complete without a book from my favourite author of all time, Charles de Lint. The Halifax library has a ridiculous amount of his books (many of which are no longer in print, were limited editions, and don’t show up at second hand stores very often), so I’ve been devouring his books as well. But not so fast that I will overdose on awesome. Book burnout is an ugly experience. But anyways, Medicine Road is a great read. It tells the story of two animal people, who have been given access to their human forms, but must find love to keep them. The reader is taken on a magic-tinged journey through the deserts of North America that de Lint is so fond of, and is immersed in the mythology of the desert surroundings, and of the animal people who populate it. Did I mention that it’s illustrated by Charles Vess? Putting the two Charles’ together creates the perfect balance between written word and visual aid to create a beautiful book. 


BTW I did all the links to the author sites where available instead of Amazon/Chapters. You should be able to figure out how to navigate those sites yourself... Though the cover images are all from Amazon.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Shoe Karma



It being Christmas, karma is a topic on my mind all together too much right now. Whether our good deeds during the year cancel out the bad behavior, and whether the slate gets wiped clean after the holidays. The debate never really ends, much like karma itself, so I’m always left undecided. Even if I can’t decide whether my past will dictate my future, and whether to stop being paranoid about coincidences, I know that one part of my karma is working to my advantage. All the shoe love I put into the world comes back to me and I wind up finding more and more shoes to adopt and love. That’s how I scored this fabulous pair of platform ankle boots from the Patricia Field for Payless Shoes capsule collection from a thrift store for $5. Field is one of the most fabulous women working in the fashion industry, and it’s because of her that Sex and the City has the amazing styling that it does! Knowing Canadian retail as I do, these beauties probably never made it to Canadian Payless stores, so the fact that I scored a pair that was imported by some other fabulous shoe diva reaffirms that no one does it this well. Halifax hasn’t really clued into my shoe karma yet, but I’m hoping come the new year that it’ll start raining shoes again!



Saturday, 24 December 2011

Glitter Envy

GLITTERBOMB BITCHES! That is all. 
(featuring "Mistletoe Kisses" from the China Glaze 2010 Holiday Collection)





Thursday, 22 December 2011

(Green) Things Organized Neatly

I've recently become obsessed with the tumblr account Things Organized Neatly, so I decided to try my hand at organizing things neatly. Not that there was ever any doubt I would rock at organizing. Organizing is FUN!


feathered hairclip by Ardene's
eyeshadow palette by Maybelline in "Antique Jade"
scarf from Chelsea <3
nail polish by China Glaze in "Mistletoe Kisses"
earrings by Ardene's
vintage broach

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Predictions for 2012


image from here

January: The world won’t end. You haven’t bought all your dream shoes, so logically, the end can’t be near yet.

February: A busy, busy month in which you feel overburdened with your workload. At the end of the month you’ll realize that you forgot all about Singles Awareness Day and will be happy.

March: Unexpected winfall will be yours this year: your dream job, a small lotto win, a scholarship, or an unknown inheritance will be your fortune.

April: Instead of throwing yourself a party, you will spend your birthday doing random things you wouldn’t normally do. The usual tears will be replaced with ice cream at the end of the day.

May: Fashion palettes will be dominated by pastels (lilac, robin’s egg blue, mint green), but shoes will compensate by being extra extravagant.

June: The word “bars” will be replaced by the word “books” in your vocabulary. You’ll happily spend every Friday night in with your new pass time, with far fewer bad choices as a result. Unless you run into Charles Dickens, at which point you will take up drinking again. 

July: Disappointment awaits at the movies this year; apparently the world really did end with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 2.

August: Lady Gaga will walk on nails; do not attempt to copy her fashion statements, as the consequences could be catastrophic for mere mortals.

September: If you're in school, you’ll stay in school, and if you’re not you’ll consider going, but will ultimately stay where you are. This is not a year for academic changes.

October: Crayons are back and so are the 90s; let your inner child shine!

November: Unexpected calamity when you miss-predict the weather, and your favourite pair of blue suede shoes are ruined. Don’t mess with Canadian Winter!

December: You’ll pick up a literary classic from the library, and actually read the whole thing. Mostly because you don’t want to venture outside for fear of sudden weather attacks, and you’ve already watched all your movies twice. 

Sunday, 18 December 2011

A Prelude to Doorways


As some of you may know, I’m in the midst of actually sitting down to write a set of stories that has been on my mind for, oh, probably the past 8 years or so. My central character came to me a little while ago in a very concrete way, and some of the other characters just started popping up too. Weird how that happens isn’t it? The first actual story is called “Doorways,” or at least it will be when I sit down to get it out of my head onto paper, and it will be the first of 22 short stories or poems. This mini-story isn’t really part of the over-arching plotline, but it happens prior to the beginning of “Doorways” so I am calling it a Prelude, because that is what makes sense. It’s not really supposed to be a whole story, just a little introduction to some of the characters, and really doesn’t have a lot to do with the actual stories. Take it as a picture window into a moment before the beginning of “Doorways,” or as just another random bit of writing that I did. And no, the big series is not going to be about a relationships. That would be lame and unnecessary. Enough babbling from me, here’s the story. 

shoes by Nina

“I really don’t know why I bother,” Dierdre sighed as she opened the door to her apartment. She dropped her purse on the floor, not caring when the contents scattered in a messy semi-circle  in the hallway. She stepped over the debris to greet her dog, Tobey, who was patiently wagging his tail, happy as ever to see her.

“Tobey-baby, you’re the only good man in my life,” she mused, laughing as Tobey barked an affirmative answer to her oft-voiced statement.

Giving his floppy ears one more ruffle, Dierdre bent down to loosen the ankle-straps of her shoes. Hopping awkwardly on one foot towards her bedroom, she shook the shoes off, feeling grateful when her bare feet hit the hardwood floors. Leaving the shoes where they lay, she continued into her room, struggling briefly with the zipper of her dress before discarding it in favour of the over-sized shirt she always slept in.

Glancing in her vanity mirror as she took off her earrings and necklace, she noticed Tobey’s head come peering around the corner of the doorframe, one of the recently discarded shoes dangling from his jaws.

‘Tobey. What have I told you about shoe-eating?” she said in a weary voice, “It makes you sick, and it makes mummy annoyed. I just can’t deal with your antics right now; mummy had to sit through another excruciating evening with Jake, and you know what that means.”

Turning, Dierdre fixed Tobey with as fierce a look as she could muster, but his only response was to cock his head to one side playfully and walk further into her bedroom. She sighed, beckoning to the dog, “Come here, you,” knowing better than to be angry with him. She patted him on the head as he finally finally dropped her shoe, still wagging his tail.

“It’s late, and I’m going to sleep!” Dierdre said, “I’m not thinking about him anymore tonight.”

Flicking off the lights, she hopped over Tobey, who was already curled up on the rug in front of her bed, and scrambled under the covers. Staring at the ceiling, her hands curled into fists as she made a final pronouncement: “Tomorrow I’m breaking up with him. I swear it.”

The only response was a soft woof from Tobey. She smiled ruefully, rolled over, and welcomed the Dreamlands. Tomorrow would come soon enough. 

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Cranberries & Wine


Ironically, two of my least favourite xmas type foods are what this China Glaze nail polish reminds me of. Yet I adore that deep, rich red that always comes with just a hint of glitter. “Heart of Africa” is definitely one of my favourite red polishes because it’s not really a red – anything this deep is in a category of its own – and because it’s a red with a secret. Whether it’s stolen kisses under the mistletoe, having been naughty all year (and not gotten caught), or that hint of something dark that’s always present during the holidays, a red wine burgundy always says xmas better than a Kris Kringle red. Things change as we get older, and so does the meaning of the holidays.

(Sorry that there’s only one picture, but the nails on my swatching hand all broke – wtf I know – and the sun was being a sneaky bitch for the last few days)


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Little Red Dress

Maybe it's just me, but the LBD is getting tired. Holiday parties should be full of bright colours, sequins, and luxurious textures. Sure a little black dress can be all that, but why not try on a little red dress for a change? With the style trends this year it isn't out of place at all! Here are some of my favourites; happy shopping :)

sequins + rich red wine colour
$44.90 from Dynamite

embossed velvet + a classic cut
$33.80 from Forever 21

look at me red + pleated detailing
$131.51 from Free People

heart neckline + sheer layers
$74.99 from Mod Cloth

maxidress + Versace
$299 from Versace for H&M

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The Best (and Worst) of the Holiday Season

I have a love/hate relationship with holidays; when I plan an amazing evening, I inevitably wind up miserable and in tears, but if I don’t plan anything then I wind up having a randomly fun time. The big one I hate is my birthday, but I’ll get into that closer to the next one, and xmas is my second most hated holiday. This year my plans are to do exactly what I did two years ago on my first completely alone xmas: spend the morning cooking ridiculous amounts of food, eat a lot, and take a walk through a graveyard at sunset to take pictures. The cooking and eating thing is pretty normal, but I’m sure the waking in the graveyard thing sounds a little weird to most people. Don’t you all know I’m weird by now? I do my own thing, and I highly enjoy doing strange things that creep other people out! 



♥ being allowed to listen to the Basshunter version of "Jingle Bells" and The Darkness' "Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)" without irony
✖ being subjected to carols during shopping expeditions
♥ sparkles everywhere
✖ being glitterblinded by the light
♥ the view of the world covered in a layer of white
✖ having to trudge through mounds of snow to get anywhere
♥ cute boots
✖ no sandals
Starbucks white chocolate peppermint mochas in red cups
✖ eggnog
♥ great shopping deals
✖ being broke
♥ xmas cards & letters from friends
✖ being really really far away from said friends
♥ presents
✖ shitty presents (citing the "inappropriate necklace" here)
♥ people being nicer
✖ the knowledge that they're only being nice because "tis the season," and come January they'll be back to being assholes
♥ xmas baking sprees
✖ the obligatory xmas weight
♥ decorating the xmas tree
✖ the bigger electric bills from the abundance of lights
♥ sleeping late
✖ having to readjust in January

lights from here

Sunday, 11 December 2011

London Calling


shoes by Benula, purse by Burberry

Name: Anonymous
Profession: Student
Movie: Amélie
Accessory: drapey grey scarf
Style Idol: David Bowie & Kate Moss
Last Purchase: a notebook
Perfect Day: wandering the streets of London, observing
Indulgence: Burberry
Inspiration: the slanting light of evening
Quote: "When I awoke, I was alone.”

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Snowy Sparkles

I was expecting this polish from the China Glaze Anchors Away collection to be much more solid, but “Whitecap” is super super sheer. It took me 3 coats to get as much opacity as I did, and it was still pretty sheer. Sheer enough that I can see the bruises on my nails through the polish… Oh well, it’s still beautiful because it’s ridiculously glittery! I’m going to try wearing it overtop of a regular white polish because I’m sure it’ll look just like the snow does when the sunlight hits it just right.




Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Snow, Snow, Snow, Blah


that's my baby dog TJ!
photo coutesy of Fedorak Photo

It’s no secret that I hate snow. It’s wet it’s cold, and most of all it ruins my shoes. No matter how many shoe care products I use, nothing can stop the evil white crap from the sky from discolouring my shoes and making my socks all wet and soggy. Yes, I could wear proper snow boots and avoid these issues, but have you seen real snow boots? Pretty much the ugliest footwear ever. Even worse than Uggs and Crocs, in my books. Aesthetic are much more important to me than practicality. True diva bitch!

Sure it looks pretty when it first snows. Everything gets covered and the change in basic perspectives lends a magical quality to the landscape. But a few days later the snow starts to discolour from the pollution of the city, and turns a disgusting shade of taupe. I’m not a fan of taupe under the best of circumstances, and when this particular shade is created by dirt and grime I like it even less.

Whenever I suit up and venture out into the winter wonderland, I invariably manage to get snow down the back of my jacket. Even when I avoid snowball fights and active snow-play (ladies do not romp like children), the white crap still manages to invade my clothing. I swear, the trees must be conspiring with gravity to carefully plot when they should drop snow on passersby, because they always hit me right where it hurts. I love a good plot, but I do not enjoy being the recipient of nasty pranks. 

Friday, 2 December 2011

Did you say Fuchsia, or Felicia?

What other colour was I seriously going to feature for the nail polish post this week but fuchsia. Like Felicia (aka Adam) from The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert it screams “look at me! LOOK AT ME!” and that’s why I love it. Technically this Icing polish is a neon purple (the neon pink from the set was even brighter, but it hardened before I could use it), but on the nail it definitely comes out more pink than purple. Being a colour neurotic person, I call it “fuchsia orchid” because it’s somewhere in between these two colours. It took a total of three coats to get a deep purple from this polish, but if I had done thicker coats I could have gotten away with only two coats. It started to chip after about a day (boooooo), but I bought a bottle of Seche Vite topcoat and managed to rescue this manicure for another few days (yay)! 



in direct sunlight it's the brightest pink ever